From Staff Reports
CUMBERLAND — Saying he believes in smaller government, lower taxes, individual rights and fewer bureaucratic regulations, Ray Givens, Hancock, a Republican, announced on Saturday his candidacy to become the state delegate from District 1C representing portions of Allegany and Washington counties.
That seat is currently held by LeRoy E. Myers Jr. who announced earlier this year that he will not seek re-election.
“I support our Constitution as it was originally written. I strongly believe that the 2nd Amendment is the protector of all people, property and individual rights. I also firmly believe firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance,” Givens said in a prepared statement.
Givens is the legislative liaison for the Western Maryland Sportsmen’s Coalition, a group with 21,000 members, and was seen frequently in the Statehouse in Annapolis during the 2013 session of the Maryland General Assembly when Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun-control bill was being debated.
The candidate made the announcement at Crabby Pig Restaurant at Canal Place Saturday afternoon. Earlier Saturday, he made his political intentions clear to Washington County residents at the American Legion Post in Williamsport.
Givens is retired from the military as well as from a government career in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. That experience, he said, will allow him to work effectively as a liaison between veterans and the government agencies meant to support them.
“I know what a correctional officer’s life is like and the dangers they experience on a daily basis,” Givens said, pointing out that he worked for the Montgomery County Department of Corrections. “I know how difficult it is to leave that life at the gate and don’t bring it home to their families. I can speak with those officers on a one-to-one basis and do so while knowing and understanding their concerns,” he added, pointing out that state prisons are within the district he desires to represent.
In Prince George’s County, Givens worked as a sheriff’s deputy and a fugitive investigator.
“I’ve been a law enforcement officer. I know how our police officers and sheriff’s deputies are examined under a political and legal microscope from the moment they pin on a badge,” he said.
“Many times our police protectors will have a split second to make a decision that lawyers and politicians will have months and even years to determine if that split-second decision was made correctly.”
Givens said he was an environmental investigator specializing in water resource management for Montgomery County.
“I know what affects the Chesapeake Bay and what doesn’t. I know there is no proven science that determines that our maintained septic systems affect any running waterways.”
Givens favors fracking for retrieval of natural gas in Western Maryland.
“I would like to know when the powers to be here in Maryland will finish their year-after-year task force research and start allowing Western Maryland to begin fracking to harvest that God-given natural resource and put people of Western Maryland back to work,” he said.